Devon tourism businesses enjoyed a night of celebration last night (16 November) as the winners in the 14th Devon Tourism Awards were announced at the Riviera International Conference Centre in Torquay.
After a disruptive three years for everyone it was a delight to see the event return to its pre-pandemic scale, with a mix of whoops of joy and tears of happiness as 73 Dartington Crystal trophies were presented to businesses from all corners of Devon.
Awards presentations were preceded by a rousing entrée by entertainers from Devon-based Bass Beatz Productions, preceding a passionate call to action and sustainability from Charles Baughan, owner of the multi award-winning Westaway Sausages.
The awards covered 25 different categories including a Winner of Winners award to Alder Vineyard and a special award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism to Claire Flower of Beverley Holidays. Other categories covered food and drink, accommodation, wedding and event venues, attractions and activities alongside thematic awards for sustainabilty, accessibility and dog-friendliness.
Lawrence Palk, Director of B2B Sales at headline sponsors Wildanet, said “Many congratulations to all the finalists and winners from last night’s award ceremony. It was a privilege to be part of what was a fantastic event, recognising the exceptional talent and huge contribution that businesses in this sector are making to the benefit of their guests, the local economy across Devon, the South West and the industry at large.
“We are extremely proud to support the Devon Tourism Awards and to be helping provide more and more businesses in this sector with better broadband and improved digital connectivity to enable their business to achieve even greater success in the future. Thanks again to Robin Barker and the team for organising another incredible event and we’re looking forward to next year already”.
Awards organiser Robin Barker of Services for Tourism commented: “What an extraordinary industry and county this is! Whatever is thrown at this sector there is a dynamic core that bypasses the hurdles and continues to innovate and invest – and what’s also great is that entries into the awards are up – especially in the New Tourism Business, Ethical Responsible and Sustainable, and Accessible and Inclusive Tourism categories – all of them so central to a thriving region.”